Deportation of Civilians
Deportation of Civilians:
“Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.” Article 49(1) of the 4th Geneva Convention
Israel, the occupying Power, has pursued a policy of deportation of Palestinian civilians from their homeland. It has attempted to justify these military orders by citing the British Mandatory Defense (Emergency) Regulations of 1945 (These regulations, however, were revoked in May 1948 by the British government and cannot, in any case, justify deportation). The deportations are usually carried out through extra-judicial administrative orders taken by military commanders and not by any judicial authority and are not pursuant to any legal procedure.
The permanent expulsions totaled over 1,156 in just the first decade of the occupation, (1967-1977), later reaching 2,500 persons. Deportees included professors, students, trade union leaders, journalists and even elected mayors. Typically, the deportees have been expelled over the border to either Jordan or Lebanon, against the will of those countries. In 1992, Israel carried out an unprecedented mass deportation, expelling 418 Palestinian civilians at one time to Southern Lebanon.
Deportation or forcible transfer of population is also described as a crime against humanity under article 7 and a war crime under article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.